About a thousand years ago, I worked in the linen department of a national retail department store. This was a part-time gig that paid for my education, my apartment and basically kept me afloat financially. As you can imagine, I was a very loyal employee.
So when the manager came up to me one day and asked if I could spend a couple of hours in Customer Service, I eagerly said yes.
Before I made my way over to the Customer Service counter, he said these wise words to me, “The only thing you need to know is the customer is always right.” Really? Was the customer always right or was this something we just say to make them feel empowered? I was about to find out.
So here’s what I learned:
A customer’s perception is their reality
As a business owner you know the importance of your brand. Your brand is essentially your promise to your client. Your customers expect you to be consistent, trustworthy and credible. Every touchpoint you have with them has to be a great experience. Make it easy and they’ll likely do business with you. Make it cumbersome and difficult and they’ll move on.
Complaints spread like wildfire on the Internet
The Internet has made it mighty easy for people to spread the word about your company … good and bad. Let me tell you, they’re more likely to complain than compliment. Social media can be one big bitch session for people dissatisfied with you or your service. So go out of your way to make their experience a great one.
It’s easier to keep your customers happy than attract new ones
Every day, businesses spend thousands of dollars on advertising. Why? Because they need to attract new customers. If you keep your current customers happy they will come back. Not only that, they’ll likely refer you to their circle of friends of colleagues. If you consistently provide value in a respectful and meaningful way, your tribe of fans will reward you. Guaranteed.
What I experienced during those few hours changed my view of my customers. Putting the customer first and treating them with respect, patience and gratitude goes a long way in building a successful business and reputation.
How do you show your customers you care? Share your comments below and continue the conversation.